Symbolism vs. effectiveness in helping the environment

“Virtue signaling” is a term that gets knocked around these days. In its defense, it is at least part of a discussion about the importance of virtues – something we could use more of in this era, not less. But the problem with virtue signaling is that it isn’t substantive. It’s frequently just cheap and […]

McKenna on KIRO: 3D-printed guns and free speech

KIRO 97.3 host Dave Ross asked Rob about the current court fight over releasing plans for 3D-printed guns. State Attorney General Bob Ferguson and 18 other states filed suit against the Trump Administration over the planned release. A federal judge in Seattle issued a temporary restraining order against the release of the plans. Dave Ross: […]

Our national debt is a pressing problem, but it’s being ignored

Sometimes the easiest thing is to do nothing. And sometimes, that’s incredibly damaging. Doing nothing about our national debt has been the default for decades now. The consequences are piling up, and with each passing year fixing the problem becomes harder. We knew where this was going to lead but we didn’t stop. I use […]

McKenna on KIRO: Stand Your Ground laws and “reasonable” fears

KIRO 97.3 host Dave Ross asked Rob about a parking lot shooting in Florida that resulted in no charges. Florida’s Stand Your Ground law was amended last year in a way that makes it tougher to bring charges in such cases. Dave Ross: “It sounds like that version of the law gives an ordinary citizen […]

With ruling, workers have new rights but union allies looking to keep the money flowing

The U.S. Supreme Court often waits until the final week of the term to release its most anticipated rulings. So it was this year, with the court putting out its decision in the much-watched Janus v. AFSCME labor case last week. The court ruled that government employees have a 1st Amendment right to opt out […]

McKenna on KIRO: Are these initiative titles intentionally misleading?

KIRO 97.3 host Dave Ross asked Rob about two initiatives on this fall’s ballot. Supporters of I-1631, which would impose a carbon tax, are billing it as a “pollution fee.” The campaign for another initiative aimed at preventing soda taxes, I-1634, is calling itself Yes! To Affordable Groceries. Dave Ross: “Does that mean we can retitle […]

Western State crisis shows lack of action, lack of leadership

No one in state government gets to plead ignorance on this one. Western State Hospital, a mental health facility, has been in crisis for years. The deficiencies, management turnover, aging facilities, escapes, and workforce problems are well-known and much discussed. The state has suffered numerous lawsuit losses over conditions at the hospital, and several courts […]

Why the Janus v. AFSCME court decision matters

In his Gettysburg Address President Abraham Lincoln did not close by saying, “Government of the government employees, by the government employees, for the government employees.” Yet, for the past couple of decades that is exactly what has occurred in our country. No other entity spends as much money to influence government policies and has as […]

State, federal governments are both hurting rural economies

If you’re an economic conservative, you probably think there isn’t much government can do to create a strong economy. Infrastructure is necessary, as is an educated workforce. But government’s best role is in not mucking things up. Unfortunately our state and national governments are making mistakes right now that are mucking things up. In both […]

McCleary comes to a close: Levy swap prevails, funding now fairer

What a long, strange journey it has been. 11 years after it was filed, the McCleary education funding case wound to a close this week. Since the state Supreme Court first ruled on the case in 2012, it has been the Sword of Damocles dangling over state government. I did not agree with the court’s […]